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Old 12-11-2008, 14:53   #16
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. Understand too that violent robberies against cruisers occur in isolated anchorages everywhere, including areas traditionally considered quite safe, such as St. Vincent.
I don't think St. Vincent has ever been considered safe. The anchorages along the west coast have never been that hospitable. I haven't been there since 1987 but we were warned then that it was not too safe. There's been a history of yachties being robbed and worse there.
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Old 12-11-2008, 17:32   #17
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I only hope that we do not trivialize this by getting into another interminable discussion about firearms.
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I am kind of amazed that on one thread where the Royal Navy fights back when fired upon by pirates …..we yachties cheer and even Gord singles out the key sentiment:
“Now suddenly there’s the threat of death and this may force them to think again, but they are determined people, so we’ll have to see ...”

Yet on any other thread where self protection and carrying guns are mentioned….. it is often treated with contempt and disdain as somehow being the cause of these murderous acts.

Like Southern Star, I don’t believe there are “concrete solutions” to what is the right decision for every cruiser, as so many variables in training, location and proficiency play a big part…… but I do wonder:

Does the fact that the majority of cruisers publicly condemn the carrying of firearms in these Forums, actually encourage and embolden the criminals to attack with impunity?

That is not a trivial question and I am all for avoiding the discussion of what some people carry altogether….but I would rather leave the average criminal mind with the thought that we are “armed and know how to use it”, than what is generally being espoused here.
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Old 12-11-2008, 18:09   #18
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I'm also of the opinion that, in fact, this kind of violence will decrease in part due to the global slowdown. It is far more costly to an economic region to lose tourist trade in an economic downturn due to a negative reputation than it is to improve or maintain a good reputation. Especially in regions where tourism is a primary source of foreign currency.

I think this is a very debatable opinion. I see an increase in violence as times become more desperate around the world. Most hungry people won't see beyond the next meal enough to realize the potential impact.
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Old 12-11-2008, 18:12   #19
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Condolences and wishes for a speedy recovery. You guys stay close to your friend while he heals in body and in spirit. Repeating the word sleep to yourself over and over will break the chain on those nights when you can't stop thinking about it. Even when you act correctly, such things have a cost that must be paid.
I walk with GOD and I talk with GOD. I wish to never have to raise my voice in anger again. I live in reality so I keep my hardware clean, loaded, and handy. I spend a couple of days a month working self defense skills to keep them fresh. I am not a sheeple.
Sheeple accept that they exist for others to fleece, consume, and they run blindly in herds hoping that numbers and chance keep them well. I don't understand how anyone can live that way and they don't understand me. Discussing it with them is a waste of bandwidth.
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Old 13-11-2008, 05:02   #20
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Should this thread descend into another “armed-v- unarmed, predator-v- prey, macho-v-wimp” argument - it will be closed.
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Old 13-11-2008, 05:18   #21
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I'm also of the opinion that, in fact, this kind of violence will decrease in part due to the global slowdown. It is far more costly to an economic region to lose tourist trade in an economic downturn due to a negative reputation than it is to improve or maintain a good reputation. Especially in regions where tourism is a primary source of foreign currency.

This only works when there is a controlling force at play. Cancun and Cozumel are safe because the Mexican Mafia wants it that way so they can sell trinckets and dive gear to American tourists. In Montego Bay the Jamaican elders want it safe for the tourist dollars. If they didn't it would be as bad as Kingston.
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Old 13-11-2008, 06:04   #22
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Vasco, you are right about the west coast of St. Vincent, but there have also been numerous reports of violence to sailors and tourists in the D.R., Haiti, Mexico (where 14 Canadians alone were killed last yeat), Soufriere on St. Lucia, Bequia (and Admiralty Bay is still a 'mecca' for many cruisers), Puerto Rico, Columbia, Trinidad, Guatemala (where in just the last month an American cruising couple were killed), Brazil (Sir Peter Blake being only one example), all come to mind. Further, while not specific to cruisers, in the last few years there have been highly publicized murders of tourtists on Bermuda and Aruba in which the local authorities have been rightly criticized for their response.

My point is that if one 'writes off' all of Venezuela as a cruising destination because of this incident, then there are precious few islands/nations which should not also be written off using the same criteria. There are risks of theft and violence everywhere and sadly, cruisers today should be especially careful about isolated anchorages and destinations while ashore. Keep current on reports of violence and theft, install at least passive security systems and use your common sense.

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Old 13-11-2008, 06:52   #23
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It seems when it comes to "piracy", like bad weather, avoidance is the most prudent course of action.

I suspect that if reasonable warnings are heeded, 95+ percent of these attacks (statistically infrequent as they are against pleasure yachts) could be avoided.

What is left is a far lower statistical probability of being held up at sea than being mugged around the corner from one's house.
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Old 13-11-2008, 07:22   #24
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Unfortunately the world economy is crumbling just as ours is. The trickle down theory is reaching all other countries. This will make for desperate times, and those who normally wouldn't cross the line between good & bad citizen will take it under consideration. Avoidance, and caution will need to be practiced with more care.
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Old 13-11-2008, 07:33   #25
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My point is that if one 'writes off' all of Venezuela as a cruising destination because of this incident, then there are precious few islands/nations which should not also be written off using the same criteria. There are risks of theft and violence everywhere and sadly, cruisers today should be especially careful about isolated anchorages and destinations while ashore. Keep current on reports of violence and theft, install at least passive security systems and use your common sense.

Brad


There's a lot to be said for the Bahamas. Except for isolated cases of theft in the major population centers, it's about the safest winter cruising grounds you can find. The major drawback seems to be the price of beer but rum's cheap.
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Old 13-11-2008, 08:31   #26
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venezuela .. not a friendly place what with hugo chavez in power. enough said.
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Old 13-11-2008, 11:22   #27
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This only works when there is a controlling force at play. Cancun and Cozumel are safe because the Mexican Mafia wants it that way so they can sell trinckets and dive gear to American tourists. In Montego Bay the Jamaican elders want it safe for the tourist dollars. If they didn't it would be as bad as Kingston.
Carribean / South America not "my" part of the world. But that kinda gels with my experiances elsewhere in the 3rd world. Can really mislead folk as to the true nature of what goes on elsewhere and that life is cheap for too many of the locals......and nowadays many are starting to learn it ain't the natural order of things.

That and one of the side effects of globalisation is the locals getting uppity and some ever more realising that in their own back yard they are ahead in the food chain compared to foreigners (of any persuasion or mode of travel) and can therefore put capitalism in it's purest form into action......folk dropping down the food chain is not an easy transition to accept. or to realise.......especially in a world where there is no cavalry coming over the hill soon after dialing 911 / 999. What is useful is folk knowing you and yours can rustle up a pick-up truck full of armed crazies at short notice - but that's another thread and sadly temps passé

Always a price to at least risk in exchange for benefiting from other folk's poverty.

In life not always a "good" answer.......
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Old 13-11-2008, 12:33   #28
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Sorry Gonesail, but I and most people who have spent any significant period of time in Venezuela disagree with you. In my experience the people of Venezuela are almost without exception warm, friendly and show no signs of the simmering animosity towards wealthy (in their terms of reference) foreigners that is often displayed in other Caribbean nations.

Indeed, that was precisely the conclusion reached in relation to the peoples of Isla de Margarita by the American authors of an article entitled, as I recall, 'Cruising the Islands off the Coast of Venezuela' in the January 2007 issue of Cruising World magazine (or on reflection, it may have been entitled, 'Sailing through the Spanish Main'). The authors suggested that the lack of animus may have been because there was no history of slavery on Margarita; regardless of the genesis, it speaks to the area being anything but unfriendly, as you describe it.

Furthermore, there is a recent (fall 2008) blog entitled 'Margarita - cruising to calm' that can be found in the recent 'Multihull Blogs' thread on this site. The authors of that blog, after having spent some time on Isla de Margarita, described it as perhaps their favourite island in the Caribbean. They spoke to their regrets in having spent about 2 years in the Caribbean before visiting the island, having til then relied upon the opinions of others concerning Venezuela under Chavez.

I would be interested in the basis for your opinion, stated virtually as fact: "Venezuela..not a friendly place what with Hugo Chavez in power. Enough said."
I would be most interested in hearing of the places in Venezuela that you have recently visited (or lived in) and the amount of time that you have spent there. If you are going to slam a place that many cruisers visit, or propose to visit during hurricane season (for insurance purposes), then it really wasn't 'enough said'.

Brad

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Old 13-11-2008, 13:11   #29
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What is useful is folk knowing you and yours can rustle up a pick-up truck full of armed crazies at short notice - but that's another thread and sadly temps passé

Even if you don't have a pickup full of rednecks at your disposal. Make sure you make freinds with the right locals. I am lucky in that most of my customers are in customs and law enforcement on the Lesser Antilles. With this though, all they can do is help me clean up the mess after the fact. It's up to me to prevent my own death.
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Old 13-11-2008, 14:52   #30
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If I ever convince the wife to try the cruising life style...I have decided to change the graphics on the sides and rename my boat when we do.
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